Huskies plate 14 in sixth to put away Newkirk

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

NEWKIRK — A 14-run explosion in the top of the sixth inning sent the Pawhuska Huskies to their fifth victory of the high school baseball campaign Monday.

The Huskies snapped a three-game Newkirk winning streak by rolling past the Tigers, 16-4. Pawhuska senior Gage Dagenais smacked an RBI single and a bases-loaded triple in the pivotal frame — which ended what had been a seesaw battle with the host squad. Taylor Walker, another senior of the Huskies, had three of the team’s dozen hits and scored twice.

PHS trailed Newkirk, 3-2, as the Huskies came to bat in the top of the sixth inning. The visitors sent 18 plateward in the frame and collected nine hits. Walker started the monster rally by lining a single to left field and the 3-RBI triple by Dagenais capped the outburst.

Caleb Bruce got credit for the pitching win in relief of Dagenais, who started on the mound and lasted through the fourth inning. Dagenais struck out six batters before leaving with the Huskies down by a run. He allowed no earned runs, while allowing no walks and only three hits. Bruce gave up one run and two hits while striking out four over two innings of work. Bruce, Dagenais and freshman catcher Price Perrier had two hits apiece and the PHS team combined for a dozen.

Trevor Johnson went the distance for Newkirk. The 6-4 senior whiffed 11 batters, while walking eight and hitting three with pitches. The Huskies overcame three fielding errors. Newkirk finished with five hits and made one error.

The Huskies jumped in front, 1-0, in the second inning after Dagenais drew a walk, moved forward when Walker was hit by a pitch and scored on a Tiger error. Newkirk tied the game during the home half of the second behind a leadoff single and a dropped third strike. Even though the got another hit and were gifted both an error and a hit batsmen, Pawhuska starting pitcher Dagenais managed to keep the score even — at one apiece.

Newkirk went ahead, 2-1, in the third by chasing home a lone run with an error and single. Dagenais again closed the door on Tiger scoring opportunities as he recorded all three of the outs via strikes. The Huskies re-knotted the score, at 2-2, in the fourth. Dagenais got hit by a pitch to start the inning. His PHS courtesy runner, Gaige Reynolds, then stole second and was sent to third when Walker lined a single into left. Reynolds came home on a double steal initiated by senior Walker.

Another Pawhuska error helped Newkirk move back in front, 3-2. Once more, however, pitcher Dagenais provided damage control. The Huskies wasted a leadoff double in the top of the fifth by Bruce — who was then sent to the mound in relief of Dagenais. Bruce was touched for a one-out double before fanning two straight Tigers to end the threat.

The scoring gates opened in the sixth for PHS, which got run-scoring singles from Walker, as well as freshmen Nick Edwards and Randsom Jones. Also, Brycen Swan stole home and Hayden Henley had a sacrifice fly. Dagenais, Walker, Swan and Reynolds each swiped two bases in the contest.

On Tuesday, Coach Brian Edwards’ Huskies (5-3) were slated for a road game in Dewey — where the Bulldoggers had pulled out a 9-8 Monday triumph against Class 3A’s No. 3-ranked Adair Warriors. That victory had evened the Dewey season record at 4-4. Pawhuska continues its travels Thursday by invading Sperry to take on the Pirates.

Homecoming week starts Monday, March 28, when the Huskies host the Shidler Tigers for a 4:30 p.m. game. The baseball action intensifies with the start of the Pawhuska Tournament on Thursday, March 31.